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Lot 0001
Isaac Newton (1642-1727).

The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated by Andrew Motte. London: Benjamin Motte, 1729.

The most important work in the history of science: a handsome copy of the first edition in English. 'Perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make' (Einstein): Newton's great work was first translated into English by Andrew Motte, who was brother to the printer and himself a mathematician and natural philosopher. 'Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler had certainly shown the way; but where they described the phenomena they observed, Newton explained the underlying laws' (PMM). Babson 20; Gray 23; PMM 161; Norman 1587; Wallis 23.

Two volumes, octavo (194 x 115mm). Two engraved frontispieces and 3 headpieces by A. Motte, 47 folding plates on full aprons, 2 folding letterpress tables (first frontispiece and title faintly spotted). Contemporary panelled calf (a few expert repairs). Provenance: J. King (?19th-century ownership inscription on free endpapers).

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Newton's Principia in its first English edition

Estimate £40,000 - £60,000May 23, 2019
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New York, NY, USA
Auction Curated By:
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Sophie Hopkins
Associate Director, Specialist, Manuscripts & Archives